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The City of Pittsburgh is pursuing a building deconstruction policy meant to spur the potential recovery, recycling and reuse of materials from certain city-owned condemned structures. Leaders say potential benefits of such a policy include removing blight from neighborhoods while decreasing waste sent to landfills, advancing climate action goals, and opening opportunities for job training.
Mayor Bill Peduto signed an executive order last week tasking the city with creating a process for identifying and assessing structures potentially eligible for sustainable deconstruction, with particular focus on historically Black business districts and low-income communities.
There are currently more than 1,700 condemned structures in Pittsburgh, said Sarah Kinter, the city’s director of the Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspections. Pittsburgh will move forward with a pilot this year on deconstruction of city-owned properties, but also plans to create material recovery standards for city-funded demolitions. The city hopes to begin deconstruction projects this fall, Kinter said.